Ah ha... well here we have Charles Vidor’s Gilda. Rita Hayworth in the title role demonstrating that when MM gets too sweet for your taste, there’s a darker, sexier and more grown up star to turn to and adore.
Rita could dance but couldn’t sing, so she mimed all the songs in the film, albeit very convincingly. So much so that for years people said this was the only film she actually sang in herself. Not true. Mimed every last note. But who cares? Her famous dressed strip-tease to “Put the Blame on Mame” remains breath-taking and as for the rest, well, after that, what more do you want?
Oh all right. The plot doesn’t really stand up these days hinging, as it does, on the disgrace of adultery. Like er... and do modern card sharps really defend their bosses’ honour? Er...? Have they ever? And could anyone have withstood Rita in that black frock? Er nope, nope and nope. Yer dope.
So all right, the plot strays into melodrama, but the chemistry between Rita and Glenn Ford sizzles, and as the story grinds to its climax the tension builds very satisfactorily - even if you’ve guessed that she’s going to turn out to have been faking all that Wild Child stuff all along.
Ah well. She had to come clean so as to deserve the happy ending. And I do like a nice happy ending... specially one where the policeman goes soft at the last minute.